• The politics of friendship

    Ej Lopez

    Ej Lopez

    The current political jockeying going on in the country is a signal that the quest for electoral posts is starting to take shape, especially now that we are in the last quarter of the year with barely 20 months to go before May 2016. This once again proves that politics and political discussions and debates are the national pastime of Filipinos. But of late, the bitter pill of politics has again misdirected some of our leaders.

    The president is misguided in thinking that people are equally divided about his plan to run for a second term. It should be a wake-up call for him that no matter how high the trust given him by the people, the buck should stop somewhere and he should let others take the rein of leadership. The president should not get drunk with power; it is a delusion painted by the people around him whose main concern is to protect and preserve their political interest at the expense of “constitutional desecration.”

    The president should not give in to the call of personalities with vested interests surrounding his political advocates, but rather emulate the humility that his honorable parents have shown. The principled politics that he is known for should have been consistently displayed even in the choice of the members of his official family.

    Sad to say, despite people’s clamor for change and for him to replace those of his political appointees who have drawn flak in their posts, he continuously displays defiance against the wishes of his so called “bosses,” contrary to his pronouncements that he decides based on what his “bosses” want. The president is known for protecting his friends who are accused of committing misdemeanors, regardless of what his “bosses” say. This is a far cry from the practice in other more politically mature nations where a pool of technocrats are waiting in the wings to occupy political positions, where friendship and nepotism take a backseat in favor of national interest.

    This practice has been flagrantly displayed many times to the dismay of the people, that despite some obvious lapses and questionable integrity, the president refused to terminate his appointed “man” because of friendship that was molded through the years.

    This is the vicious cycle of political patronage in our political milieu, a reflection of our ethnic fanaticism where nepotism and political dynasties are both offshoots of our cultural consanguinity, that despite abuse of power, the appointing authority chooses to be blinded by filial affiliations. This is a type of cultural heritage that destroys the very essence of what good governance should be all about, where right reasons should take priority and people’s interest should prevail over all other motives and relationships.

    For comment e-mail: doc.ejlopez@gmail.com.


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    1. This political and friend patronage has to stop. We need someone who has run a large organization in the non-government sector to become President. Let’s bring good management practices to government.